1. ITV Report

An accidental global warming solution? Enzymes that could break down plastic


It was an accidental discovery which could massively reduce the global problem of plastic pollution.

Scientists in Didcot and Portsmouth have helped create a mutant enzyme that breaks down plastic drinks bottles, allowing them to be re-used much more effectively.

13 bil
Plastic bottles used every year in the UK
3 bil
Plastic bottles that are NOT recycled in the UK
3 tril
Estimated 3 trillion pieces of plastic floating in the world's seas.

Watch this report by Mark McQuillan:

In the world today, plastic bottles that are recycled can only be turned into fibres for clothing or carpets. But now- potential- for the first time they can be used to make new bottles.

Specialist equipment here at the Diamond Light Source in Oxford are the brains behind this discovery, providing some of the most powerful microscopes in the world.

But the original discovery was in Japan after finding naturally occurring enzymes on a waste dump.